That wonderful time of year has finally arrived – you are ready to take your boat out on the water. Suffering through those winter months not on the water is tough, but you’ll want to delay your marine adventure a bit longer. There are a few tasks you’ll need to get done to get your boat ready for spring. Below we cover easy do-it-yourself maintenance to prepare your boat for the season. For all your boating needs, visit Norfolk Marine. We proudly serve those in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, Virginia.

Inspect Your Boat

Despite your best efforts, winter can still take a toll on your boat. That’s why it’s important to double check parts of your boat before putting it into the water. You don’t want to assume everything is fine only to discover a key issue too late!

Start by opening the hatches, opening the motor bay, and removing the covers. Here you want to carefully look for any mold, mildew, mud, or moisture that may have wormed its way inside. These are all damaging to boats, so try to catch them early. Don’t forget to search the hiding spots of mildew: cushions, carpeted area, and the console.

Next, you’ll want to look for any critters. Boats make an ideal winter home due to the dry and warm environment. See if you can spot any signs of nature’s intruders, such as nests or droppings. If you found some pests, there may be damage not far behind. You’d be amazed at how much destruction a mouse can do!

Finally, inspect your hull. Look for any cracks, leaks, or other issues that can be problematic for boats. If you catch any issues during your inspection, you’ll want to bring your boat to a service department before you start your spring adventures.

Inspect the Engine

If your boat passes the inspection, the next step is to get your engine ready. Remove the nacelle and look thoroughly through the engine. Change the oil and top off any low coolant. See if you spot any dropped fluid from the gaskets or engine heads. If your boat runs off of an inboard engine, open up the engine bay and look inside. Make sure the spark plugs are free of wear or corrosion and replace them if needed.


Many boats rely on electronics to make a good outing great. Fishing enthusiasts rely on fish-finder equipment. Adventurous spirits benefit from a GPS guiding them back home. Groups love playing music on the sound system as they cruise around the bay. Inspect whatever electronics you use. Make sure everything works and any batteries aren’t dead.

Boat Cover

Many boats come with a tailored cover to protect from the elements and gunk while in storage. If you use a cover, you’ll want to inspect it as well. Check for any tears, rips, mildew, mold or holes. These small issues can manifest into larger one in no time at all, so fix them right away.

Clean Your Boat

Before you put your boat back on the water, consider giving it a good wash. This will help it glisten when you take your first voyage of the year!

We hope you found these tips helpful! If you uncovered any issues during your inspection, bring your boat to Norfolk Marine. We can exchange out broken parts and do a service on your boat. Our expert staff will get your boat running and looking like new in no time at all. We proudly serve those in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, Virginia. Stop by and visit today!